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October 2022 Open Submissions
We will be open to unsolicited and unagented submissions of wholesome and uplifting adult romance and women’s fiction novels between the dates of Saturday, October 1 (12 a.m. Pacific) and Monday, October 31 (11:59 p.m. Pacific.) For this open call, please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not submit before October; the inbox will not be monitored and your submission will not be read. While we hope to acquire some full-length manuscripts, we will also consider unfinished work. You can submit more than one project. Please follow the guidelines below.
Please submit with one attached Word document of your four- to five-page synopsis and one attached Word document of your novel’s first three chapters, both in Times New Roman font, size 12, double-spaced. The subject line of the email should contain the title, the genre, and the actual or estimated finished word count.
Your query letter can be in the body of the email itself. You can address it to Ms. Donovan and Ms. Shin, or to Stacey and Eunice, as you prefer. Consider leading with a one- or two-sentence description of your story.
What We’re Looking For
Hallmark stories are about the transformative power of love—romantic love, family love, and the love between friends. We’re looking for wholesome and uplifting romance and women’s fiction novels of around 75,000 – 90,000 words in length when completed.
We like relatable characters and strong conflicts. In romance novels, we like to see both characters overcome a conflict to the romance. We look for clear character arcs—how the main characters learn, change, or grow over the course of the story. Most of our contemporary stories are set in the United States, but we are open to stories about Americans abroad.
In addition to contemporary romance, we’re open to historical romance set in the Regency, Victorian, Gilded Age, Jazz Age, WWI, or WWII eras.
We’re especially looking for the following: Valentine’s Day themes, beach settings, Christmas and winter stories, laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, stories with a time element (they have only one month together; they meet ten years later; etc.); romance with a strong subplot involving brothers or male best friends; and poignant, dramatic stories with happy endings. However, we’ll probably fall in love with some projects that aren’t on this list!
“Women’s fiction” does not refer to the gender of the author, but to stories that focus on women’s emotional journeys. We’d particularly like to see stories about families (esp. sisters), friends, reconciliation, emotional healing, finding one’s confidence, and triumph over adversity. Romance may or may not be an element in women’s fiction.
We don’t publish paranormal romance, romantic suspense, YA or NA romance, or religious romance (although any faith may be depicted as a part of characters’ lives.) We are acquiring LGBTQ+ stories. Although we do publish cozy mystery, we’re not making an open call for it at this time.
We don’t publish stories with nudity, sex, profanity, or graphic depictions of sexuality or violence. Physical interaction must be limited to hugging and kissing. We usually avoid backstories about infidelity or promiscuity.
Novels may be written in first person or third person. When romance is in third person, we prefer alternating points of view.
Hallmark Publishing is committed to diversity and inclusion, and we hope to receive a diverse range of submissions.
We don’t consider previously published (including self-published) works for publication.
Hallmark Publishing isn’t involved in acquiring the movie or TV rights of books published by other publishers. We’re not allowed to review scripts, so please don’t send them.
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We are open year-round to submissions from agents. Agents who wish to submit a synopsis and three chapters may send them to Stacey Donovan at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for your interest in Hallmark Publishing!